More public-sector employees in 2004 than in 1997
More private-sector employees in 2004 than in 1997
Look what's grown faster since New Labour came to power. Well over half a million new public-sector jobs have been created since Tony Blair took the hot seat eight years ago. And it should come as no surprise: his belief in Big Government and 'education, education, education' helped staunch a 14-year Tory bloodletting of the public-sector headcount. In 2004, after six years of continuous growth, the sector topped 5.7 million jobs, and the employment explosion continues. During the tax year 2003-04, private-sector employment rose by 119,000 (0.5%) compared with the 146,000 (2.6%) increase in the private sector. Numbers are still far short of 1970s levels, however. But have things gone too far? Chancellor Gordon Brown has already promised to shrink the Civil Service, so with belt-tightening on the cards, it won't be a straightforward expansion from now on.